Mathieu van der Poel taking the world championships road race title (Oli SCARFF) Mathieu van der Poel could complete an historic treble on Saturday when he attempts to add the mountain bike world title to his current road race and cyclo-cross crowns.
Winner of February’s world cyclo- cross championships, the 28-year-old Dutchman added the road race world title to his trophies this week.
Van der Poel would become the first rider to hold all three titles at the same time, and while his preparation has been limited he has a record of delivering on the big day.
Emerging from the mists of the final laps of Glasgow’s ultra-long road race on Sunday, Van der Poel unleashed an awe-inspiring acceleration.
It allowed him to break away for the title ahead of arch-rival Wout van Aert and two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar.
Van der Poel conceded, however, his bid on Saturday was a long shot.
"I’ll be honest and tell you without any preparation it’ll be difficult," he said."I haven’t climbed on a mountain bike for around a year. And I know how tricky it can be changing disciplines."He had been favourite for the mountain bike gold at the 2000 Tokyo Games before a peculiar fall.In training, organisers had placed a ramp over a log, removing it on the big day, with Van der Poel paying a heavy price.Modestly, he explained he would like a top 10 and a few qualifying points for the 2024 Paris Games, "but you never know".Agile and powerful at the […]